Today’s reading is in Mark 10:14. Jesus said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God.” A few verses earlier, the disciples rebuked the parents for bringing the little children to Jesus and here Jesus says we all need to become as little children if we want to be a part of His Kingdom.
Is it possible that sometimes we get too ‘big’ for God to use? Sometimes we think we have it all figured out and we start becoming bossy and making assumptions like we know what God really wants. The disciples meant well chasing away these parents and children but they got a little ahead of themselves and Jesus in so doing.
Children are not bossy. As a matter of fact, they are used to being told what to do. They rarely assume they know what their parents want. Maybe we need to get back to this kind of relationship with Jesus. Maybe we have gotten too ‘big’ for Jesus to use and we need to get ‘little’ again or at least have a child’s approach to life. Can you think of some other characteristics that children have, that could be helpful in our spiritual relationship with Jesus?
Today’s reading is found in I Corinthians 15:18, Paul says, “By the grace of God I am what I am.” Paul is saying that he had finally come to a place in his life where he could say he was comfortable in his own skin. How sad that many people live their entire lives trying to be something they are not. When I was younger I used to watch the cartoon Popeye the sailor man. His favorite song that he used to sing was, “I’m Popeye the sailor man. I yam what I yam.” He knew who he was and was comfortable with that.
God has made each of us unique. Not one of us has the same fingerprints. Each of us has been created by God with different personalities, different passions, and different giftings. The key to coming to a place where you can say that you are comfortable in your own skin is surrendering your entire life to God and offering all that you have and all that you are to Him. The later part of this passage Paul says, “His grace towards me was not in vain: but I labored more abundantly than they all.” Paul realized he was not like the other apostles. He did not get to hang out with Jesus. He had a different ministry. He had a different call. Rather than constantly trying to measure up to a standard that he had created in his mind, he decided to accept who he was and give it all to God in service to Him. Until we come to the place of accepting who we are, life will be a constant struggle. Each of us has some aspect of ourselves of which we are ashamed or that society insists we should be. It might have something to do with our heritage, such as being illegitimately born. It might have something to do with our lifestyle, if we are geeky or overweight or underweight. Or maybe it’s an obstacle we face, like being handicapped, dyslexic. When we compare ourselves with others it is so easy to feel like we got the short end of the stick. I may not be the brightest. I may not be the strongest. I may not be the most organized but what I am I dedicate to God. It is good to seek to constantly improve, but that is different that not accepting who we are by the grace of God. Can you agree with Paul and Popeye and say, “By the grace of God I am what I am?”